European Parliament takes a stand against mass surveillance (again)

This Thursday, the European Parliament took yet another stand against mass surveillance. The short version is that the parliament is frustrated that the European Commission and member states seem to ignore the issue and earlier resolutions.

Too little has been done to safeguard citizens’ fundamental rights following revelations of electronic mass surveillance, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday.

As national security is not within EU competence, all the EP can do is to is to focus on human / civil rights and data protection. Even that ought to go a long way. But it doesn’t — as the system is organised in a way that makes it possible for other institutions to totally disregard the stance of the only clearly democratic elected body in the EU.

The best you can hope for is that these EP resolutions will strengthen the European Court of Justices determination to uphold human rights. (As when it invalidated the EU data retention directive.)

And before giving too much praise to the EP, one should keep in mind that Thursdays resolution was approved by 342 votes to 274, with 29 abstentions. The surveillance-industrial complex still has a lot of friends in the European Parliament.

But despite being a toothless resolution that no one will care about — it’s rather OK in most parts.

EP press release » | The resolution »


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